A little bit of context
Nepal is a glorious country to visit - magnificent mountain scenery, prolific wildflowers in Spring, but best of all the friendliest of people. Wherever you go you’ll be greeted with “Namaste”.
But there’s a problem
The UN Development Programme has rated Nepal as one of the poorest countries of Asia / Oceania. While the country receives foreign aid, the real answer lies with better education of its people so that they can lift themselves out of poverty. Most children attend school, but as many as a third of teachers in government primary schools left school at year ten and started teaching without further training.
Here’s what we’re doing about it
Nepali Village Initiatives Project, registered with Rotary Australia World Community Service, has been delivering comprehensive teacher training programs to 40 teachers in Western Nepal over the past three years. This year the program is expanding to encompass 160 teachers from around 20 schools. LEARN (“Lifting Education, Advancing Rural Nepal”) has been established as a new Nepalese NGO to deliver this training, taking over from REED (“Rural Education and Environment Development”).
You can learn more about the project at www.nepalaid.org.au.
And how it’s going to change the world
A visit to a school who’s teachers have attended training shows the dramatic impact – a shift from “chalk and talk” teaching in bare classrooms to happy children in classrooms with teaching aids galore, enjoying a wide range of interesting educational activities. Children are keener to attend school rather than working their family plot of land. They’re learning what is need to become self-sufficient in their rural communities rather than migrating to the cities or – for those that can manage it – going overseas to find work.
How you can help
Volunteer Susan Carew, Rotary Peace Scholar and World Peace Clown, has been invited by LEARN to contribute to a training program and to an associated holiday program for children. Other volunteers pay their way, but as a World Peace Clown Susan has no regular income. She needs your help to cover her $2,500 travel costs. Support her now and she will be able to fly out on 14 April.
Susan has been Peace Clowning since 1998. It has taken her around the world, including a visit to Russia with renowned clown doctor Patch Adams and 20 other clowns. You can read more about her at www.worldpeacefull.com.
Should you want to do more, why not join the trip yourself as a volunteer? Please call Peter on 03 5424 1453 for details.